Sunday, 5 July 2015

Good Health Made Easier: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Good health is like success in life - it can be attained if you're willing to put in some work.  You can't make a million dollars by doing nothing so it stands to reason that you can't improve your health without some effort.

However, good health is a much easier goal than one million dollars (in most cases, of course).  The effort isn't that hard and here are some more tips that you can apply.

1) Sleep Well

Such an easy piece of advice that everyone knows they should do.  I have found that setting a routine each evening does wonders, no matter if bedtime is earlier or later than normal.  This includes no TV or computer for at least a half-hour before bed.  A book is a great way to encourage sleep as long as you're not reading a thriller or page-turner!

You should also listen to your body.  If you had a rough night's sleep and your body is asking for a nap during the day, then take it.  Animals have no problem napping during the day and many countries will have their afternoon siesta.  It's a very busy high-tech world world where many industries are 24/7 but our bodies have not evolved quickly enough to keep pace,  Make sure that you keep both mind and body sound with enough rest and sleep.

2) Keep Hydrated

Water is essential, obviously, but we don't drink enough of it.  Hunger is an obvious sensation but our thirst sensation is not as efficient and being thirsty means that you are dehydrated.  A good measure is to drink half your body weight in ounces every day.  This will keep you properly hydrated.

Of course, you can drink other beverages during the day besides water but make sure you avoid the processed drinks that contain a lot of sugar.  A can of soda may be mostly water but it also has a lot of sugar and artificial coloring. 

3) Eat Well

Millions of words have been printed about diet and what to eat in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Everyone knows the basics: more fruits and vegetables, less processed food, no overindulging and so on.  They are easy to learn but hard to follow!  Here are some tips that are easy to follow and quite fun.

Eat brightly colored fruits and vegetables.  Eat more tropical fruit such as mango and papaya. When you go shopping, try to buy a different or exotic fruit or vegetable each time.  Buy the darkest color of a particular fruit.  That is, buy the reddest apples or leaf vegetables which are the darkest green (romaine or kale vs. iceberg lettuce).  Try to avoid white foods such as sugar, flour or rice because they have been processed.

A wonderful 'white' food is coconut, which is full of health benefits.  Organic coconut oil is a great way to consume healthy fats.  Try frying eggs in coconut oil - it's a lot better for you than butter or hydrogenated oil and it tastes great.  You can also keep hydrated by drinking coconut milk and coconut water.  Bring some of the tropics into your house and enjoy!

4) Exercise Well

Exercise doesn't have to mean following a regiment that will strain your body to the limit.  There are people who love their daily running or two hours of hot yoga but that doesn't mean that you have to do likewise.  Too much exercise is like too many calories and it adds undue stress to the body.  Instead, exercise 45 minutes to an hour, four times a week.

Of course, your own needs may vary, especially if you play organized sports.  I prefer to go at my own pace and work out hard if my body is up for it and easy if I'm feeling not quite there physically.  If  you have a home gym or treadmill/bike in the house, you can try this to keep up a regular workout.  Have a TV and DVD player in the room and watch as you exercise.  If you work out for an hour, then watch half a movie.  You'll be wanting to work out again to see how it turns out.  You can also get a TV series on DVD and watch one episode per workout.  If it's engrossing, then you'll be itching to do your workouts and watch the next episode!  Try a series like Lost and you'll have regular workouts for months. Many DVD's can be borrowed at the library or purchased for a low price at most department stores.

The main point is to make exercise fun and something to look forward to.  It can also include activties such as dancing, playing with your kids or simply taking a walk in the evening.  Our bodies weren't designed to sit of front of a computer or TV all the time.  As the adage goes, "Healthy body, healthy mind".

Stay healthy!

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